The Pioneering MBAs In The Class Of 2019

Julia Brown 

Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: I am an organized adventurer, who likes to maximize every moment and make an impact in the world.

Hometown: DeRidder, Louisiana, USA

Fun Fact About Yourself:  When I was growing up, The Price is Right was my favorite television show. I made it my goal to get on the show when I was older, and I reached that goal a few years ago by being selected as a contestant. In case it wasn’t already the best day of my life, I spun the wheel to earn a spot into the final two– the Showcase Showdown.

Undergraduate School and Major: Texas A&M University, Finance

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:  

Aon –  401(k) Project Manager

Aon –  401(k) Delivery Specialist

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My most meaningful accomplishment was through a nonprofit project. I started to build a bridge in Honduras outside an orphanage where I have volunteered for 11 years. The original bridge flooded almost daily due to heavy rains, which caused a plethora of problems. Through a fundraising campaign and managing teams to attain the goal, I raised $125,000 and collected $40,000 in material donations to construct a new bridge. I travel to the region at least once a year to check in on the bridge, volunteer with the orphanage, and engage the community.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants?  Start early. Set aside plenty of time to take the GMAT (and retake if necessary). Spend ample time researching all the different schools and talking with current and former students of those schools, especially ones pursuing a career path similar to the one you would like.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? Everyone at Owen was so welcoming and made me feel like they really wanted me to be here. When I met the other prospective students, everyone was extremely down-to-earth, yet were very intelligent and had fascinating experiences. In talking with recruiters, they mentioned that Owen students were particularly helpful to each other and not as cutthroat as those at other schools. The high quality of education was a factor, but what ultimately attracted me was the students and faculty that I would be spending the next two years with.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school?  I hope to be working in a corporate finance position that is in a large multinational company with a presence in Latin America. After Owen, I want to be in a position in which I am managing teams, helping the company make financial decisions, and being challenged to grow and lead. Another aspect of success is that I have found a volunteer position in the community in which I can be giving back.

I now realize that a lot of the learning will come from my peers so my goal in the first year is to know them both on a professional and personal level and hopefully, forge bonds that will go beyond the campus walls.